Archive for November 4th, 2014

Quote note (#126)

Election day special:

I claim, the sovereign is he who selects the null hypothesis. What is a null hypothesis? Have you ever seen the phrase “no evidence that”? For instance, there is no evidence that voter fraud has a significant impact on American elections.

Like it or not, established religion is an essential attribute of sovereignty. Cuius regio, eius religio. Unless you’re a crazy person, you believe what the sovereign, personal or institutional, orders you to believe. Obviously there is a conflict here, or at least a potential conflict. Because even a normal, non-crazy person will experience difficulty in disbelieving his own eyes.

Which is fine. Sovereigns, though asymptotically infallible, err. They change their mind, or at least have to be thought capable of it. You can change your mind too. Maybe you’re just the first. However, the null hypothesis is what the sovereign orders you to believe, at least until evidence (which should promptly be brought to your master’s attention) convinces you otherwise.

Since the sovereign also sets the bar for how much evidence it takes to convince you otherwise, he can order you to believe in pretty much anything short of outright arithmetic violations. All he has to do is set the null hypothesis to his desired outcome, then set the burden of proof impossibly high. …

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November 4, 2014admin 10 Comments »
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Military-Entertainment Complex

This isn’t a video game. (Via Fernandez, who fills in some background.)

Teletronic warfare isn’t typically conceived as a media development, despite regular comparisons of drone ‘pilots’ to computer gamers. That’s clearly due far more to institutional information control than to the character of the technological process. It is becoming impossible for an even moderately modernized military to destroy anything without the simultaneous production of a media event (which has then to be withheld from mass Internet-based circulation by an extrinsic application of policy). A virtual morbid super-spectacle is generated alongside the war, as munitions converge with narrative agency. When considering the content locked up in the basement of the Web, this material has to be a huge part of it.

“What did you do as a child, Pythia?”
“From what I can remember, I seem to have spent a lot of time cooking monkeys in hell.”

NOTE: Paul Virilio’s War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (1989), which emphasized the parallel development of the movie camera and the machine-gun, stands as a prophetic forecast of sensible weaponry, whose story — told from its own increasingly high-resolution perspective — is already beginning to leak out.

November 4, 2014admin 5 Comments »
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